Reduced Cornwall parking charges still too much for low paid
Motorists can purchase season tickets for many Cornwall Council car parks at a reduced rate from Thursday as part of a three month trial.
But Wadebridge West member Scott Mann believes the new charges will still be too much for people earning the minimum wage.
He said local authorities should not be looking at car parks as “cash cows’’ and more needed to be done to help workers and businesses.
The council says the aim is to cut costs for Cornwall’s commuters and car park season ticket holders.
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Between Thursday and March 31, motorists will be able to buy season tickets valid for 12 months for specific car parks at a reduced rate.
As well as reducing the cost to motorists, the trial will also assess if reducing the price of season tickets will encourage more drivers to buy them, including those who do not currently use car parks.
Motorists who have already bought a season ticket will be able to apply for a pro rata refund.
A similar trial which ran in Launceston last year proved successful.
Mr Mann said although the reductions were welcome, he wondered if everyone could afford the new season tickets, even though they have been slashed by half in some cases.
He said: “The new price for a season ticket in Piggy Lane car park in Wadebridge is £250 a year. It is thought this might help small and medium size businesses.
“I’m grateful to the parking team for reducing the charges, however this is only scratching the surface and I am not sure if a £250 ticket is a feasible aim for someone earning the minimum wage or just above it.
“ We really do need to stop looking at car parking as a cash cow for local councils. We made changes last year to make it free after 4pm and a pound all day in the winter months.
“ I feel this is a step in the right direction but feel there is much more we can do for the businesses and staff who work in Wadebridge.’’